The Los Angeles Lakers made a second-half push but couldn’t catch up to the Phoenix Suns in a 119-115 loss. The purple and gold cut a mounting deficit down to two points in the final 20 seconds of the the fourth quarter but couldn’t complete the late comeback effort.
Larry Nance, Jr. sparked the turnaround with a nice defensive play, tipping a pass away from Phoenix and tearing down court for an and-one layup. The Lakers rode that momentum to break down a an 18-point lead, but even with Devin Booker fouling out in the final minutes, it wasn’t enough.
Lou Williams continues shouldering the load offensively as D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young sit, scoring a game-high 35 points off the bench. His scoring barrage over the last four games is the highest off-the-bench point total dating back to 1970, yet it’s not been enough to land the Lakers back in the win column. Brandon Ingram had a quiet night in his return to the starting lineup, but did hit a key three in the final minute of the game to make it a one-possession game.
It was an old rival in Leandro Barbosa who did a surprising amount of damage for Phoenix, dropping a season-high 21 points on the Lakers. Eric Bledsoe scored a team-high 30 points, doing his damage in the paint, at the line and beyond the arc. He also dished out nine assists.
The Lakers started the game sleep walking through the first half, needing Nance, Jr.’s defensive play to awaken the fight they’ve had in them most of the year. It was another night of it being too little too late, which hopefully won’t be the case when Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks come to town Sunday.